Psalm Saturday: Psalm 86

Psalm 86 is a prayer written by David, the shepherd boy who became King over all Israel. Based on his experience of God’s goodness, David asks the Lord to show His strength by standing against the proud who are exalting themselves over him. It is the only psalm ascribed to David in the third book of Psalms and contains familiar quotes from other psalms, often mirroring them verbatim.

David spends the first 10 verses asking God for His protection. The request for protection is followed by David’s request for greater understanding in verses 11-13. In verses 14-17, he closes his psalm with a request for strength to fight off his enemies.

In this psalm, we see a mighty king, bending his knee to almighty God, demonstrating his dependence on the Lord, and showing us that he trusts Him and is ready to obey Him. David asks for grace, acknowledging it is not something God owes him. David rested with the confidence that God would answer his plea because God was the only one who is able to do great things. David trusted God because he knew that God was able.

David had personally experienced God doing tremendous things in his life, like calling him up from the fields into Saul’s palace to serve the King, and helping David slay the giant Goliath. David knew that he did not do these things in his own power, but rather because God was with him. What situation or circumstance in your life needs you to show dependence and trust in the Lord?

When we cry out for greater understanding for those things in our life that happen unexpectedly and that escape our ability to understand, we must mirror David’s call. David did so with humility, knowing God did not owe him an answer. He did not question God’s goodness or God’s plan, but sought to understand so that he could give God the glory. David knew God loved him and was the source of his salvation. He knew that it was the Lord who sustained him. It is okay for us to ask God questions, provided we remember that He alone is God and that He is holy and mighty. God doesn’t owe us an answer. Do you desire greater understanding? Have you asked God to provide it to you?

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People were rebelling against David and God. Man’s rebellion against the Lord is nothing new. It was true before David, during David’s reign as King, and it remains true for us living in the 21st century. David looked for a sign from God, just like we often do. David asked for strength and that the Lord would deliver him from his troubles, just like we often do. David trusted that God would answer his plea. When you ask God to help you overcome the problems you are facing, do you trust Him to answer you?

God is for us, not against us. He is trustworthy. We can trust in Him. He hears our prayers and He is willing to answer them. Are we willing to faithfully obey His call on our lives? We must recognize our utter dependence on the Lord Almighty and acknowledge that God owes us nothing. Everything He has given us to date is sheer grace.

Blessings.

 

Psalm 86

A Prayer of David.

1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 2 Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God. 3 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day. 4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. 6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. 7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. 9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. 10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. 11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. 12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. 13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seeks my life, and they do not set you before them. 15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant. 17 Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Psalm 104: Using Your Creative Gifts for His Glory and Praise

In Psalm 104, we discover that we are in an extension of God’s creativeness. Through our work, we partner with the Lord, using our God-given creative abilities to share the Gospel and help transform lives. As a believer, my primary passion is sharing Jesus with others. It’s a joy that I am unable to keep to myself. Christ changed my life. He changed my beloved Sweet T’s life. We’ve seen Him transform the lives of others. God is so good to us. His grace and mercy are abundant gifts that He bestows upon us. Recognizing the Lord’s goodness, the unnamed psalmist cries out “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” at the beginning and in the final verse of this psalm.

The psalmist marvels at the creativity intricately entwined in the works of God. Our human work should reflect that same commitment to using our creativity to herald the message of God’s goodness and greatness. We must praise God with our mind and our mouth. God is always at work around us. It us up to us to join Him in the work that He is doing. While this may feel scary, we must remember that there is never a safer place than being in the center of God’s will.

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In many ways, Psalm 104 is a celebration of Genesis 1. The psalmist reminds us of God’s sovereignty and we should submit to Him because He is the source and sustainer of life. As sinners, we find ourselves out of tune with the rest of creation that submits to God. As believers, through repentance and trusting in the Lord, we return to a harmonious accord with the Magnificent Maker of the Whole Universe.

By staying committed to a life of prayer and remaining rooted in God’s Word, you and I can use our creative gifts to transform lives through sharing the good news of Jesus with others. Regardless of the creative gift God has given you, imagine what would happen if you used it to glorify God and share the love of Jesus with the world? There is no better time than the present to begin using your creative gifts to work alongside the Lord for His glory and praise. Blessings.

 

Psalm 104

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
2 covering yourself with light as with a garment,
stretching out the heavens like a tent.
3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
he makes the clouds his chariot;
he rides on the wings of the wind;
4 he makes his messengers winds,
his ministers a flaming fire.

5 He set the earth on its foundations,
so that it should never be moved.
6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7 At your rebuke they fled;
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
to the place that you appointed for them.
9 You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth.

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills;
11 they give drink to every beast of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
15 and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21 The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they steal away
and lie down in their dens.
23 Man goes out to his work
and to his labor until the evening.

24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.

27 These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works,
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke!
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more!
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!

 

Be the Change You Want to See

Monday morning signals the start of another work week. With it comes the opportunity to invest in others by building relationship, lending an ear, and stretching out a helping hand. The difference we would like to see in our world flows from us out into the world we inhabit. Change rests with us.

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6:31 (ESV)

Change is a constant season fueling our lives. Nothing rarely remains the same. In an ever-changing world, we may be intimidated faced by an uncertain future. This is, in part, what makes life an unceasing adventure. None of us are promised tomorrow. We certainly aren’t given any reassurance that next week will be anything like last week.

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Last week, many of us lost a good friend who shined kindness and acceptance into our lives. He modeled the Golden Rule-treat others like you would want them to be treated. He is remembered as a kind, generous, jovial, and loyal friend. The type of person that’s hard to come by these days.He genuinely cared for people and looked out for his friends, keeping them out of harm’s way.  His presence in each of our lives will be missed. Many of us will try to remember the lessons he taught us. No doubt, he is gone way too soon.

What impact will you make in the lives of those you encounter this week?

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

If you’re a believer, like me, and a Christ-follower, will people be able to see Jesus reflected in you? If you’re the only Bible anyone reads this week, will people be drawn closer to God through how you live and respond to the world you live, work, and play in?

While change is a constant fire burning, God is steadfast and unchanging. You can depend on Him. He won’t let you down. Life may disappoint you. The Lord will see you through those challenges and difficulties, if you’ll let Him.

Without faith, there is no hope. Without hope, there can be no love. And life is meant to be rich in love, fueled by an abundance of hope and steadfast faith.

Go be the difference you want to see in the world. You can. I believe in you.

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